By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Santa Claus needs helpers for a toy drive that will put gifts into the hands of over a thousand local children in need.
The Agape Centre is calling on the community to ensure all 1,160 kids registered with the Children’s Christmas Fund receive a toy.
“We need your help. We currently have 300 gifts in the sorting centre,” said Kendra Smith, Agape Centre volunteer coordinator.
The ultimate rush of darting to a pile of presents on Christmas morning and tearing them open in anticipation for the next is not a likely scenario for many kids in the area.
Luckily, the Agape left gift tips all over the city that can give your donation a personal touch.
The ‘Angel Tree’ located at the Agape and TD Bank at Cornwall Square features paper angel cutouts indicating the age and gender of a local child who deserves a gift. The community is encouraged to pick one up, buy a toy suited to the angel’s description and drop it off at the food bank (40 Fifth Street West).
Smith said toy donations can also come in the form of a cash donation or gift card.
On Dec. 19, the Agape Centre and Salvation Army will be distributing 1,300 baskets to families in need at the Cornwall Armoury from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The annual event, run by the Service Club Council in Cornwall, paired the two food banks in an effort to feed the city.
“The Children’s Christmas Fund could not exist without the generosity of people in our community. Many families would go without on Christmas day if it wasn’t for the money spent on food items, gifts that we receive through toy drives or the time many people volunteer for the event.”
Sparky’s Toy Drive, headed by the Cornwall Firefighters Association, rounds up toys and donations for charities that are distributed to local children and families.
Smith said without their support many kids would go without a toy on December 25.
To find out more, visit www.agapecentre.ca.